In fact, the best time for me to jump into a group break is at the start of the collecting season. Since I collect a particular team, it's a great chance for me to get in, get all the cards from that team, and get out.
And it cuts down on my ridiculous habit of buying packs so I can find a card of Joe Blanton.
A perk of entering a group break at the start of the year is you might land some parallels or inserts or maybe a cool hit. It happened to me a couple of years ago. Perhaps it could happen again?
You'll have to wait.
First, let's see the base Dodger cards that I received from Colbey at Cardboard Collections:
Lots of key figures right there, especially in that right column. I do believe that is a photo of Adrian Gonzalez's three-run shot in his first at-bat in a Dodger uniform.
There are the rest of them. It looks like Paco "Don't Call Me Steve" Rodriguez is the Tim Federowicz of this year's set.
Ever since Topps split its set into two series, I like to figure out what Dodgers might appear in Series 2. In this case, it's a little difficult to come up with more than 5 or 6.
I know Hanley Ramirez, Luis Cruz, Mark Ellis and Zack Greinke will likely appear in the second series. Aaron Harang, if he's still with the Dodgers, is a likely choice, too. And Carl Crawford, if he's healthy and ready to roll. After that it's a lot of hoping that Juan Uribe isn't on the team anymore and a bunch of random relievers.
I thought looking at the backs of some of the cards might be interesting. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot there. A fair amount of the players are veterans and their career stats don't allow for any write-ups.
The most interesting one, I suppose, is Clayton Kershaw, just because it's almost as much about Taylor Swift as it is Kershaw. I'm sure Kershaw gets a lot of grief over Swift, and it just adds to his goodie-goodie image. But I'd rather root for a player that I'm certain won't end up in prison, or reveal that he's bereft of character, not that I'm naming names cough, cough Ryan Braun.
Being a bad-ass is cool, of course. Just don't be a weenie.
You'll also notice that Kershaw's card number matches his uniform number.
Andre Ethier's card does the same thing. And there are several other examples for other players on other teams.
Contrary to a some things I've that I've read/heard, this is not a common practice for Topps. It's possible it has done this before, but never for a base set on this kind of scale. It used to be "Mantle gets 7" and that's it.
I don't have a problem with this, by the way. I don't know why anyone would.
The only other thing I have to say about the back is ...
The basepaths/pitching mound graphic underneath the number ...
Does it remind you of anything?
How about now?
Yup. To me, it looks like a sea turtle. And that's all I'm going to see when I look at the number logo on the back now.
Hopefully, by now, you've forgotten all about what I said at the beginning of the post about that perk of joining group breaks -- the inserts and parallels and hits.
And that would be wonderful if you were kind enough to forget.
Because I didn't get any inserts or parallels or hits.
Not a one.
I think I was the only one in the break who didn't get any.
But Colbey, good guy that he is, sent me some parallels to make me feel better.
Very nice. But he didn't have to do that.
I'VE GOT THE COMPLETE 2013 TOPPS SERIES 1 DODGERS SET!!!!!! YAY ME!!!!!
Completing the team set used to take me years to do, not a week and a few days. Yeah, I know there are a bunch of parallels now to chase, but having the whole base set a week into the whole thing is pretty darn swell.
Yes, I said "swell."
And Clayton Kershaw is my favorite player.
Hell, I even like Taylor Swift.
I don't care what you say.
You can't hurt me.
I've got my complete Dodger team set.
And I figured out the number logo on the back looks like a sea turtle.